Fodors: Rome’s 25 Best

I receive emails from visitors to my blog asking me “What can I do in Rome in two or three days?”

A short stay in Rome doesn’t mean that you can’t see or do a lot. Many people breeze through Rome on their way to other places in Italy, notably Tuscany, since many of the international flights land in Rome. With Fodor’s Rome’s 25 Best : What to see, where to go, what to do by Tim Jepson is the perfect guide to those who are only paying Rome a short visit on their way to other things.

Jepson’s guide can be confusing at first glance. I have to admit that I don’t like the way it is organized, but once you get passed the overly compact design of the book and the over-abundance of photos, there’s a lot of excellent information to be had.

The opening of the book contains a transportation map showing the routes of the tram, subway, regional lines and other forms of transportation, complete with stops and legend. This same map is featured on the back of a laminated map that is included with the book. Also on the inside cover is a map of Rome’s center which is very detailed with all the major sites marked with small orange globes and relates directly to various chapters in the book.

The first section of the book is called Essential Rome and includes important tips on the Eternal City – lots of general tourist and travel information along with historical information that you are sure to find useful.

The bulk of the book divides Rome in various sections, and each section of the book highlights a few important tourist sites accompanied by recommendations on hotels, place to eat, clubs, bar, and other things to do during the day and at night. There is an even a chapter on places to see outside of Rome if you have the time (although, I recommend that if you’re staying in Rome for less than four days that you avoid destinations outside of Rome).

The last section of the book contains a listing of hotels as well as a section called Need to Know which highlights important practical information, such as the weather, how to get there, getting around, and other practicalities. In the last flap of the book is a laminated map of Rome (which I mentioned earlier) that will be helpful and useful to you as you navigate the city. I think that it is important to have a map to consult, in case you get lost or need to find a specific building or street.

All in all, I rate this guidebook very highly. In my opinion, it is best suited to the traveler who has a short time in Rome and is looking to see some of the highlights, although there is plenty mentioned in the guide for a longer trip, too. Also excellent is that they have a laminated map (not paper, and this map is probably good in the rain) which is recent and well labeled.